Codex Gamicus

Unreal is a first-person shooter developed by Epic Games, using a proprietary engine developed by Epic Games. It is a futuristic game set on a strange alien planet called "Na Pali", where you play as "Prisoner 849" (However, Prisoner 849 is similar to Gordon Freeman in that they have no voice, and is mearly a vessel for the player). Unreal was universally praised for not only having great graphics and environments, but also for excellent AI and gameplay. Enemies would dodge out of the way of projectiles, and pose a competent threat as well. Headshots would do more damage as well, and you could even decapitate enemies with weapons such as the Ripper and the sniper rifle. The planet of Na Pali is rich in atmosphere compared to many other shooters of the time - outdoor levels are populated by many small creatures and birds, who do not attack the player (there are, however, some forms of wildlife who are actively hostile to the player). Unreal's engine was considered revolutionary at the time, boasting huge environments and colourful lighting (coloured lights appeared in software mode, unlike in Quake II where they were just white)

Unreal has no cutscenes or any characters to meet and talk to - the story is solely told through the Translator, a device the player picks up in the prison ship. When the player walks near an object that can be read, the translator 'beeps' to signal this. In the expansion pack Unreal: Return to Na Pali, the player speaks a log at the end of every level describing the events that took place, although many fans feel the logs were out of place and unnecessary.


The game begins with the player waking up inside their prison cell on the ship Vortex Rikers, badly wounded. The choas around them suggests that there's been a prison break, however as the player reaches the bridge they learn that the prison ship was caught up in the gravity field of a strange uncharted planet. Whilst on the ship, the player often catches glimpses of a large reptilian-like creature. At one point a battle between some survivors and this creature occurs behind a door - the player can only hear what's happening, however the door soon raises to reveal a scene of chaos as the monster runs down the corridor. It is here that the player finds their first weapon, a Dispersion Pistol. Eventually the player finds the exit to the ship, and steps out onto the surface of the planet in what is widely considered one of the most memorable scenes in FPS gaming.

As the player travels further in the game, they soon learn that the monster they saw on the ship was from a malignant alien race called the Skaarj. Also having crash landed on this planet like the player, they have enslaved and killed many of the planet's peaceful inhabitants, a four armed race called the Nali. The Nali are a deeply religious group, and utilise technology similar to our Dark Ages. However, the level Dark Arena suggests that the Nali were not always a peaceful race. They worship a number of Gods (Chizra being the Nali Water god, and Vandora being the God of Thunder)

Also evident around the planet is a strange crystal called 'Tarydium' which is the cause of the gravity field around the planet (During the course of the game you encounter 4 ships crash landed on the planet, so one can only guess at how many ships have been grounded to these crystals) It appears to generate power and so the Skaarj have built mines to extract it.

After travelling through the Raijigar mines and then the Temple of Chizra, the player reaches the Dark Arena. Nali have been crucified around the area, and screams can be heard from inside. After fighting off numerous Skaarj, the player comes face to face with a Titan, a behemoth of a creature who can shake the ground, sending the player flying. It can also hurl large boulders at the player which do tremendous damage. Eventually the Titan is slain and the way forward is revealed, leading to a small village complete with a church and cemetery.

The player encounters a crashed spaceship called the Terraniux belonging to another alien race who are simply referred to as Mercenaries, and are hostile to both Skaarj and the player. After navigating the maze that is the Terraniux, the player finds an exit. A large temple built for the Nali Goddess Vandora appears to be the only way forward. Eventually the player reaches a Human crashed spaceship called the ISV-Kran. It's crash gouged a large portion of land out resulting in a trench being formed. Any hopes of finding live humans inside are shattered when the player sees a corpse in the airlock along with a translator log about the Skaarj invasion, along with information on how to exit the ship. After struggling through, the player arrives at the Spire Village - a small town at the base of the Sunspire, a colossal structure visible practically everywhere on the player's journey. The Spire itself is no less contaminated by the vicious Skaarj and other creatures, and only a few Nali remain there. As the player steps onto the Bridge leading to the Sunspire (Far below the player can see Lava), a poor Nali plummets past from the top of the tower to the lava below. After struggling to reach the top, a 'Tarydium' crystal beacon signals a strange box from the skies to which the player enters.

The player then arrives at the Skycities - a chain of beautiful islands floating in the sky (How they can do this is not known, however the caves leading to the city have Tarydium in them so it is assumed that the crystals keep the islands afloat) Despite being called a Haven, this place is no longer safe as the player sees a Nali being forced to walk the plank by some Krall, a strange creature who utilizes an energy firing staff. It appears that these creatures are also slaves of the Skaarj. After entering the City above, the player soon discovers that the Skaarj have the town under occupation, and have built a base inside the nearby mountain. Taking a teleporter built inside of it, the player arrives at a strange ring of stones, and soon battles a monstrous Stone Titan who is far more durable than the regular Titan. After defeating this creature, the player moves on to the Nali Monastery, Bluff Eversmoking. The suffering of the Nali due to the Skaarj is more present here than ever, as numerous Nali can be seen at the top of the surrounding cliff walls crucified. After battling his way past the Skaarj here, the player passes through a Cellar system, and eventually reaches a river system where they take a peaceful yet brief boat ride to the Nali Castle. Again, this location is under occupation by the Skaarj, as well as a large 'Gasbag' creature in the Castle's main tower. At the base of the Castle lies a dungeon with a few torture devices as well as a guilotine (More evidence that the Nali were not always a peaceful race, although we see a Nali being decapitated with it by a large Skaarj ) and the exit of the castle. In a Hellish cave the player does battle with a Skaarj Warlord - a large demon-like creature with wings and a large rocket launcher. Before the final blow can be struck the creature suddenly teleports away, and a beam leading to the exit moves into position. The player takes a lift up into a warehouse type facility, where they eventually reach the Control room for a Teleporter. Outside of a Window they see an incredibly large spaceship, bigger than all the ones before, in the base of a Crater (Aptly called Demon Crater) - The Skaarj Mothership.

The Mothership itself proves to be a vast labyrinth, with large numbers of Skaarj patrolling at all times. After finding a huge reactor, the player does battle with the Skaarj Warlod once more and emerges victorius, and promptly destroys the Ship's reactor, plunging it in darkness. After navigating the ship in the dark, the player arrives at 'The Source' - A vast chamber with only one entrance (seemingly guarded by a large number of Pupae) Inside the player comes face to face with the Skaarj Queen, and the two fight in the bowels of the ship. After the Queen is defeated, the entire ship begins to shake, and the player jumps into an escape pod. Although they managed to escape the ship and the planet's atmosphere, the ship's entire fuel supply is consumed and the player is left floating in space. The Story continues in the expansion pack Unreal: Return to Na Pali.

Return to Na Pali expansion pack Storyline[]

The story takes place not long after Unreal; the player is picked up by a large Human Warship titled UMS Bodega Bay. Upon learning of the player's identity as Prisoner 849 (missing and presumed dead). They are given the choice of returning to Na Pali as part of operation "Talon Hunter" to locate the downed starship UMS Prometheus, locate a secret weapons log and activate the ship's ELT Transmitter, or to get a one-way trip out of the ship's airlock without a spacesuit.

The player is dropped off in a remote facility along with some basic equipment, most notably a self-recharging scuba gear kit. After traversing a small section of the planet, the Player comes across an old Nali well that has been dried up. Filling the well up again, the player takes a boat ride similar to the one on their last visit to the Planet, and winds up at the Nali Village of Glathriel. Not only is the village under Skaarj rule, but many people have been killed due to the supply runs carried out by the Bodega Bay. There is also a 'Spinner' infestation (Spinners are small spiderlike creatures) Soon the player catches sight of the UMS Prometheus, a colossal military spaceship.

Upon arriving at the only entrance available, the player is attacked by a group of Mercenaries - it becomes apparent that they are salvaging any useful supplies from this ship for themselves. Upon locating a way deep inside the ship, the player retrieves the weapons log, but hears a transmission from the UMS Bodega Bay. The Player is to be terminated due to the fact this assignment is 'Deep Ultra' classified. The player reaches the bridge, activates the ELT transmitter, and does battle with a platoon of Marines. After a hard battle, the player manages to escape into a nearby mine system where they emerge at the Spire valley, which is located right next to the Sunspire.

After battling a group of Titans, they arrive at Nagomi passage. A large facility lies to the east, however it is locked down and the creature holding the key is nowhere to be seen, and so the player must instead go through Velora Temple (another Nali god, although it is not specified what the God 'commands') Upon navigating the trap-ladden temple, the player finds an exit and realises they've traveled in circles - however the creature 'guarding' the facility is now present. Upon killing it and getting the key, the Player then travels through a large Tarydium plant, as well as a foundry. Eventually the player reaches the upper arctic regions of Na Pali, where they find a large building surrounded by a large abyss, the bottom of which is not visible. Traversing a slippy path, the player fights all opposition before them, and activates a teleporter inside the building.

This teleporter takes them to another Nali Castle, where they learn of a small spacecraft ready to take off. After defeating numerous Krall and another Skaarj Warlod, the player finally leaves the planet once again. However, the UMS Bodega Bay is waiting, and after the player fails to identify themselves, fires a seeking missile. The player's small scoutship out maneuvres the missile, and manages to lead the missile straight back into the UMS Bodega Bay. As the large ship crashes down onto Na Pali, the player flies away into Space.

Map Editing[]

Unreal's method of creating maps differs in major ways from Quake's. The bundled UnrealEd map editor uses the Unreal engine to accurately render the exact scene, as opposed to external editors like Worldcraft attempting to recreate it with different methods. Whereas Quake maps are compiled from a variety of different components, Unreal maps are inherently editable on the fly. This allows anybody to edit any map that is created, including the originals from the developers. Though UnrealEd loads quite a bit slower than most map editors, it runs maps smoothly and swiftly: hitting rebuild automatically finalizes the level within minutes, as opposed to the hours or (at the time) even days with a full Quake map compile.

In addition, Unreal starts with a completely solid world in which you extract areas with primitives instead of starting with a void and building rooms by adding primitive shapes to fill it. Many map designers believe that this eliminates the tedium of matching up separate walls, floors and ceilings.


Unreal's arsenal was relatively different from FPS at the time - rather than having a 'basic' set of Pistol, Shotgun, Machine gun .etc., Players could utilize weapons that fired crystal Tarydium, Sludge, and even Ripper blades. All weapons also have an alternate fire button.

Dispersion Pistol - The player's first weapon, the Dispersion Pistol is a slow energy based weapon that fires weak blasts of energy. It's alternate fire mode is a Charged shot which does more damage. The Dispersion Pistol has infinite ammo which recharges over time. The Dispersion pistol can also be upgraded with Canisters that increase the weapon's power (and how much ammo it uses per shot) up to 4 times

Automag - A accurate Pistol weapon that the player acquires early on. It does more damage than the Dispersion Pistol, and has a magazine of 20 bullets. It's alternate fire mode fires the gun sideways, which is faster but is also far less accurate.

Stinger - The Stinger is a rapid-fire weapon which shoots small Tarydium crystals at high speeds. Although faster enemies can dodge the attacks, it is useful for wearing down large enemies. Alternate fire shoots a spread of crystals at a slower rate (In a Shotgun style of attack)

ASMD - The ASMD is an instant-hit energy weapon. Although it's Primary fire is relatively weak, it is effective at pushing enemies back and can give you breathing room. It's secondary attack mode fires a slow ball of Energy which deals more damage. The ASMD also has a 'third' combo mode of fire - if you shoot the secondary mode ball with the Primary beam, the combination explodes with a powerful blast. This consumes some ammo, however it is very effective and does high damage.

Eightball Gun - The Eighball gun is a six barreled Rocket launcher which can also double as a Grenade launcher. By pressing and holding the Primary attack button, the gun loads up to six rockets (by releasing this button the gun fires the amount that were loaded, but it automatically fires once the number reaches 6) and fires them in a line, making it very hard to dodge and avoid damage. By clicking the Right mouse button whilst holding the Primary, the gun fires them in a tight pack instead of a line - this attack mode is useful against large enemies. By holding the Secondary attack button, the gun again loads up to six rockets - however they are fired as grenades which bounce several times before exploding. Enemies often don't dodge against grenade attacks which makes this mode useful for taking out large, fast enemy such as Skaarj.

Flak cannon - The Flak Cannon is a powerful weapon which shoots out a spread of shrapnel, in a way similar to a shotgun. Up close, it deals tremendous damage and also reduces the enemy's chance of avoiding the attack. The Secondary attack mode lobs an entire shell which also does very high damage. Using a combination of these attacks, it's possible to take out most enemies in very little time.

Razorjack - The Razorjack is a Skaarj weapon in origin, and fires small spinning blades. Although the damage they do is not very high on its own, the weapon does more damage on headshots, is capable of decapitating foes, and can also be fired quite fast. The blades ricochet and can be bounced around corners. It's alternate fire mode tilts the weapon to the side and fires the blades slower. However, you can aim projectiles fired in this manner by turning your screen, however it's turning speed is very slow.

GES Biorifle - The GES Biorifle fires small blobs of sludge which deal considerable damage, and also stick to surfaces. The alternate firemode charges the weapon up (similar to the Dispersion Pistol) and fires a much larger blob which deals very high damage (On contact with a surface it explodes into many little blobs)

Rifle - The Rifle basically serves as a high powered sniper rifle. It comes equipped with a scope that is activated by clicking the secondary attack button (holding it zooms in further) The weapon obviously does much more damage with headshots.

Minigun - The Minigun shares the same ammo as the Automag, and fires bullets at high speeds (However Minigun bullets do less damage than Automag ones) with relatively low accuracy. Secondary attack fires much faster, but at a detrimental cost to accuracy.

Return to Na Pali expansion pack weapons[]

Combat Assault rifle - The CAR is a very fast firing weapon comparable to the Minigun (Although less powerful) Secondary fire mode is a Shotgun style blast (similar to the Stinger, although hitscan)

Grenade launcher - The Grenade launcher launches a grenade similar to the Eightball (But more powerful) that bounces around and explodes (It explodes instantly if it hits an enemy or creature) Secondary fire launches a similar grenade, however upon clicking the Secondary fire button again this grenade explodes. If combined with the primary fire mode it can do considerable damage.

Rocket Launcher - The Rocket launcher serves as simply that - it launches fast rockets which do more damage than an individual Eightball rocket. Secondary fire launches a rocket that can be guided by looking around (Similar to the Ripper's secondary mode)


Unreal's world is rich with life and sports a diverse array of creatures, either aggressive or non-aggressive towards the player, roaming the surface of Na Pali. Note: in the game you will most often see them spelled without spaces. This is because of an engine limitation (presumably on purpose) which has not been fixed. Info taken from


Nali Rabbit[]

Cute and entirely harmless, Nali Rabbits are often found grazing the grasses of the planet. Try not to step on the poor things as that will almost certainly result in their gibbing.

Nali Cow[]

Adult versions of the Nali Calf, these slow and un-intelligent creatures are pretty much irrelevant. They are farmed by the Nali for their milk, hide and meat and are thus often found in Nali barns or enclosures. They have a distinctive mournful call which will instantly inform you of the presence of one of the creatures; the Nali Calf also has a similar but higher pitched call.

Nali Calf[]

Unmatured offspring of the harmless and stupid Nali Cow, these small creatures are seen very occasionally, normally with the larger adults. Like the adults, they are grass grazers, and will take no notice of you unless you do something to threaten them, at which point they will panic and run all over the place, often getting in the way of your fire.


In every level with open air there will be green birds, they will only fly in circles and are only useful as eye candy.


A plain Nali is the basic towns-person and worshipper of the planet. A benevolent and timid race, the Nali are easily afraid of threatening creatures. However, if your rate of Nali survival is high, you will often find that these four-armed people will summon you and lead you to some kind of helpful and powerful item. For this reason, endeavour to save as many Nali as you can from attack, and never shoot them.

Nali Priest[]

The Nali are a simple and holy people. These more colourfully tattooed versions of your basic Nali frequent the planet's temples and sacred sites. Or at least they used to, until the Skaarj came along. Now these Nali like the others are also suppressed and in fear for their lives. That does not mean to say that a Nali Priest cannot be just as helpful as a basic Nali if not mistreated.



These small native piscines travel in shoals. Some shoals will completely ignore you, but get too close to other shoals and they will start to show interest in you via their teeth; each bite does 1 point damage. Not much, but they bite repeatedly so it mounts up. They are too small to be worth killing and are difficult to target, so it is best to simply swim away if they get too busy, and save yourself the ammo.


These large-jawed underwater denizens are devout meat-eaters and can give quite a powerful bite. When a Devilfish spots you it will pursue you relentlessly until either you or it is dead. Although there is an advantage in that they will also go for critters that jump in after you, Devilfish are best exterminated quickly to avoid losing too much health, so tackle them, but make sure that you do not forget to come up for air. There is nothing more annoying than drowning whilst fighting.


Hefty multiple-tentacled water natives who swim around with a distinctive ink trail. When they spot a target they swim at it head-first then whip round and lay in with a flailing tentacle attack. These enemies are quite hard, but given that nowhere in the game were they actually used, you do not really need to worry about them that much.


Slith are large amphibious creatures which can slither lumberingly on land but who are really in their element wheeling around underwater. They have two main attacks in the form of spitting green acidic saliva, and a melee attack with large, fast and deadly claws. Get cornered by a Slith with its claws and you are as good as dead, which is why it is always best to fight them on land. They are much faster and more manouvreable than you underwater, so if met by a Slith underwater then get away as fast as you can. Push them back using a weapon with kick like the ASMD.


Predator (a.k.a. Pack Hunter): Predators are lightning-fast runners. One Predator on seeing you will probably squeal and run away, but will soon come back with several other Predators and pursue you as a group. They really are pack hunters, chasing a victim down in a flood and then forming a circle to tear flesh off the vanquished's bones. They are equipped with small but incredibly powerful jaws, so it is imperative that you never allow yourself to get cornered. Predators can run just as fast as you. Return to Na Pali only.


Spinners like to lurk in dark shadowy places like crypts, mine workings and ancient temples. These spiders have two attacks in the form of flesh-tearing fangs at close range, and spitting acid at long range. Both attacks are nasty and best avoided, but of the two it is generally preferable to snipe and dodge rather than get torn to shreds. Watch out when visiting dark areas, because Spinners can drop down and ambush you from unexpected locales. Return to Na Pali only.

Giant Spinner[]

In the level Gala's peak, once inside the facility, you will be confronted by plenty mercenaries and two large spiders. They are basically spinners but can take more damage and can easily chop you to nothingness.


These Amoebas (also called Blobs) are highly acidic in composition. Creatures whose natural environment is space, their structure intrigued the science officer of the ISV-Kran. Aggressive creatures who follow you and deploy their acid on you if they can reach, they are difficult to target so explosive weapons are the easiest option. Such creatures were picked up in space by the ISV-Kran, Skaarj Mothership and UMS Prometheus.


Tentacles are immobile creatures that attach themselves to a ceiling, where they remain in a visually hard to pick out dormant state until a potential victim is nearby, whereupon they unfurl three tentacles and start firing spikes at the prey. If the prey comes too close then the Tentacle will use its limbs to give the prey a hefty whack that sends the prey flying back. Tentacles are not hard to kill but if left alone can whittle you down to quite poor health quite quickly.


These are not your average horseflies. These creatures can lurk inconspicuously in a corner somewhere then fly out and attack you when you are least expecting it, although you are given some warning by the distinctive rattly buzzing of the Fly's wings. Flies use their tail stings as weapons, so when one attacks it will fly at you then curl its tail under to give you a jab. Although not this attack too dangerous in itself, the Fly will keep coming back for more until either you or it is dead. They are not tough, so make sure that it is not you that dies.


Mantas are small reptilian flying creatures who use their tails as nasty stings. A typical Manta attack pattern is to fly at you, then dart off to one side swinging its tail at you. It can deliver quite a nasty sting. There is one weakness though, Mantas tend to wheel off between attacks and swoop around. This gives you a good opportunity to get some shots in. Best weapon has to be the ASMD, which you can use to accurately hit the Manta whatever it is doing, and also push it back, giving you more room. If it is following you, you can back off and continue firing.

Cave Manta[]

Cave Mantas are weaker versions of the basic Manta. A distinctive white in color as opposed to the usual Manta green, these creatures only take a couple of hits to kill but tend to attack in groups of more than one. However they attack, make sure you use an appropriate weapon like the ASMD, with which you can back off continuously whilst maintaining accurate fire. Cave Mantas suffer from the same lack of concentration as regular Mantas.

Giant Manta[]

These larger and nastier versions of the regular Manta are much more dangerous than their miniature cousins. They are faster and require a lot more damage to kill, thus a certain change of strategy is required. The CAR is the best weapon, since it seriously speeds down the Manta. Make sure you circle strafe more (their greater speed gives them a boost on your backing off tactic). They do have a disadvantage though; their size makes them less maneuverable in cramped areas, giving you the opportunity for extra hits. Only used in Return to Na Pali.


These curious balloon-like night stalkers float around and vomit large red balls of explosive plasma at their prey (usually you). The plasma is slow-moving and has a limited range before it detonates, but if you get caught in it is quite unpleasant. Thus avoidance is a good tactic. Up close, the Gasbag can beat you with its fists, so that is not ideal either. Gasbags are not especially tough but they can dodge projectiles, so good weapons to use are the Automag, ASMD and fast-action Flak Cannon (at closer range). Eightballs locked on can hit but often miss.

Giant Gasbag[]

This semi-boss is extremely rare. It is basically like a huge version of a regular Gasbag, but with the added attribute that it can spit out normal Gasbags as well as red plasma fireballs. The upshot of this is that you should use a big gun like the Flak Cannon to dispose of the Giant Gasbag before it has a chance to spawn too many regular ones.



Long ago the Krall were enslaved by the Skaarj like the Nali. Now, the Krall are willing servants of the Skaarj, and are all too happy to carry out the Skaarj's dirty work. Krall are often seen as guards in captured Nali strongholds, and are seen to patrol these places swinging their concussion staffs as they go. As fighters, they possess three attacks; a whack with the staff close up, a rare attack that does no damage but lifts you up great distance, and an energy bolt when fighting at far range. To a limited extent Krall can dodge your shots, but they are not as agile as Skaarj. They make up for this by attacking in numbers. Krall are determined fighters which will continue to attack even if you chop off their legs.

If approached silently, Krall may observed playing dice.

Krall Elite[]

Krall Elite are stronger and more highly-trained versions of your basic Krall guard. These elite fighters are often placed as commanding officers of groups of regular Krall, and are seen to charge with the troops. These blue-tattooed versions carry a more powerful concussion staff that shoots projectiles at a greater velocity. Krall Elite dodge more and take more punishment, so be prepared for a fight.


A Mercenary

Mercenaries are rivals to Skaarj supremacy, ones you meet on Na Pali are stranded on the planet, due to their ship's (the Terraniux) crash. Skilled at fighting in teams and building huge facilities, Mercenaries are formidable opponents armed with a machinegun, rocket launcher and invulnerability shield. At close range, they will fist you. Fortunately, most Mercenaries cannot fire whilst under their invulnerability shield, so you do have a fighting chance. Mercenaries are quite nimble and can dodge your fire but not very effectively. Basically, lay into them until they are dead, but do not waste ammo whilst they are protected by the shielding. (When playing in higher difficulties you will find one in the Skaarj mothership)

Mercenary Elite[]

These guys are tough. They are like regular Mercenaries, but these blue-clad Mercenaries are more intelligent, stronger and have more health, but worst of all they can fire whilst using the invulnerability shield. This gives them a major advantage - if there is one creature against which you have to fight strategically, then it is this one. Flak cannon is the best choice. Fight carefully, or you will be dead faster than a stepped on Nali Rabbit.


Basically, a larger and more powerful version of the Lesser Brute. Brutes are later-game enemies, being rare in the early maps, only appearing once in the Rrajigar Mine facility. They are all over the place at Dasa Pass and the Nali Castle but that is later on in the game. Anyway, their rockets and swipes are still powerful, and they have more health; they still do not lead you with rockets but it is easy enough to get hit. Identification: beige colour, as opposed to a Behemoth's light blue. More armour than a Lesser Brute.

Lesser Brute[]

Lesser Brutes are the weakest breed of the Skaarj-engineered group known generically as "Brutes". These pink-skinned creatures are the first real opposition that you will meet. At long range they fire rockets, close up they whack you with the flats of their guns to quite considerable effect. Where you have the advantage here is the Lesser Brute's lack of speed and its relative fragility. Plus, Lesser Brutes do not generally have the intelligence to lead you with their rockets.


Relatively rare, until Return to Na Pali's Foundry Tarydium Plant. Behemoths are more powerful versions of Brutes that take a lot more damage and can lead you with rockets. They are huge, which is a disadvantage to you, but it does have the one benefit that they are less maneuverable. Behemoths are tough, but you will not meet them too much. Identification: huge size and pale blue amour.


Even your own planet has turned against you. Only in Return to Na Pali, these elite Terran fighters beam down to terminate you as a security risk after you locate the bridge communicator of the crashed UMS Prometheus. Armed with either a Combat Assault Rifle or Rocket Launcher, they attack in team waves to provide opposition that is not only fast and deadly, but is intelligent and can pick up items like Health Packs and dead comerades' weapons to boost their fight. Plan the fight carefully or you are in trouble.


The 30 foot tall Titan is a humongous enemy that you will only meet once in a while. It is truly a creature to be feared, as not only do its huge fists pack an immense punch, at long range it fires instant kill boulders at you. Get in the way of one of those, and you really are in trouble. To make matters worse, they stomp along causing the earth to shake, and wallop the ground to send you flying out of control, only to meet a well-placed boulder. A tip: use Eightballs, and lots of them. Work down through your weapons after that, but do not use the Minigun (waste of ammo), and save the Flak Cannon for Skaarj and Brutes etc.

Stone Titan[]

Of course, where there is something big there is always something bigger. The colossal Stone Titan is a variant on your basic Titan with stone armour plating such that it takes dramatically less damage from your weapons. Found twice in Unreal, and once in Return to Na Pali


The main form of resistance you will encounter during your adventures on Na Pali, these come in all flavours.



These small skittish creatures are unmatured Skaarj in an early formative stage. Their main method of attack is to bite and claw with their front legs. In order to achieve the close range required to do this, they will run at speed and if necessary jump; they can jump quite a distance at some speed, so are more than a match for even the best player. If there is space, back off and fire; otherwise, some skillful circle strafing will be required to avoid getting cornered.

Skaarj Scout[]

There are two main classes of Skaarj, the Warriors and the Troopers. Warrior Skaarj are lightly-clad and use their speed to attack with skill using metal claws on their fists and energy bolts fired from the tips of these claws. They are athletic and can somersault, dodge, strafe and play dead. The Skaarj Scout is the weakest of the Warrior Skaarj, but is still a considerable threat especially if you only have weaker weapons. Early in the game, the weapon of choice has to be the powerful secondary fire Stinger at close range. Identification: red eyes, smaller size and brown chest with red tattoo.

Skaarj Warrior[]

A Skaarj Warrior

These are the next step up in the Warrior Skaarj class. Slightly faster and more intelligent than basic Skaarj Scouts, Skaarj Warriors' main advantage is their increased health that allows them to take more punishment. Like all Skaarj, Skaarj Warriors have a powerful attack in the form of a forward lunge that can do quite a lot of damage. This is an attack to be avoided. Identification: their skin is much greener than a lot of Skaarj. Green eyes and no brown colouration on their chest.

Skaarj Berserker[]

Comparing these guys to most Warrior Skaarj, Skaarj Berserkers are simply huge. With much more health and melee attacks that do a lot more damage, Skaarj Berserkers really are creatures to be feared. Skaarj Berserkers are highly aggressive and will almost certainly never run away from a fight. In fact, they are so aggressive that they have been known to spontaneously attack other Skaarj, even other Skaarj Berserkers. Identification: large size and exposed brown chest with no tattoo, and red eyes.

Skaarj Assassin[]

These Skaarj are pretty unpleasant but are not as tough as Skaarj Berserkers. They have more health than a Skaarj Warrior, which can be partly attributed to the combat armour they wear. Skaarj Assassins are fast and intelligent and thus should be treated as some of the nastier opponents, which of course they are. Get trapped in a corner by one and you will soon see why. Anyway, Skaarj Assassins are quite unusual and are seen mainly in the later part of the game. Identification: red eyes and combat armour.

Skaarj Lord[]

These Skaarj are similar to Skaarj Berserkers. The main difference is the lack of the recklessness possessed by Skaarj Berserkers; Skaarj Lords are more the thinkers than the "run psychotically and disembowel the player" type. Not to say they are not just as menacing; they have a plentiful supply of health and a similar supply of intelligence. Their combat armour makes it hard to damage that scaly hide. Identification: Skaarj Lords have the same physical appearance as Skaarj Assassins but for a very slight difference in armour tint, and you will probably only realise what you are facing when they survive several Flak Shells.

Ice Skaarj[]

The default attributes for the Ice Skaarj are not that tough. However, when you meet it in the game it is a lot tougher. Ice Skaarj are possibly the most unpleasant sort of Skaarj. They are highly intelligent, deal a hefty whack and take a huge amount of damage before they fall. There is only one Ice Skaarj in the original game; you will meet it by the entrance to the alternate power supply, right at the end of "The Darkening". It will be an unpleasant shock when it is still running after six perfect-hit Flak Shells. Identification: red eyes and these guys are blue.

Skaarj Trooper[]

Trooper Skaarj are covered in full body armour, and carry the same varieties of weapon that you carry. At close range they will fist you, at longer range they will deploy tactics appropriate to whichever weapon they are carrying. Trooper Skaarj also carry a switchable invulnerability shield. Do not waste your ammo when it is in use. Specifically now: the Skaarj Trooper is the simplest variety of Trooper Skaarj, armed normally with a Dispersion Pistol although they sometimes carry other weapons. As Dispersion Pistol carriers they are not too bad but the damage can still mount up. Identification: red eyes. and yellow and white body armour.

Skaarj Infantry[]

These Trooper Skaarj are the next step up the stats ladder. Their statistics are basically identical to those of the basic Skaarj Trooper, but they are seen to carry more powerful guns. The default weapon for the Skaarj Infantry is the Stinger, but you will occasionally see them carrying an Eightball Gun or other powerful weapon. Watch out, as the Stinger is surprisingly effective in the hands of a Skaarj. Especially at close range in secondary fire mode. Identification: Skaarj Infantry are visually indistinguishable from Skaarj Troopers. It does not really matter, what matters is the weapon they carry.

Skaarj Sniper[]

This strange class of Trooper Skaarj is very rare. Skaarj Snipers carry some of the most powerful weapons, and rely on their marksmanship to make kills. They are not very strong, having less health even than a Skaarj Scout or basic Skaarj Trooper, and this is not surprising given their spindly appearance. They are quite manouvreable though and you should not take their lightweight design be considered too much of a weakness. Although in fact when you meet them in the game they will be carrying GES Biorifles, the default weapon for the Skaarj Sniper is the Assault Rifle. Identification: spindly appearance, red eyes and blue body armour.

Skaarj Gunner[]

In a way, the Skaarj Gunner is the variety of Trooper Skaarj that you should fear the most. Skaarj Gunners are generally armed with Eightball Guns (although they are seen with other weapons including Flak Cannons, Razorjacks and even Automags), which can waste a creature pretty quickly, especially if locked on. Skaarj Gunners are big and beefy and thus can take quite a pummelling, which is unfortunate for you given the power of the Eightball Gun. You have to fight Skaarj Gunners with strategy. They are intelligent and pack a punch. Identification: bulky appearance, red eyes and blue body armour.

Skaarj Officer[]

The largest Trooper Skaarj is the appropriately named Skaarj Officer. Armed normally with the Razorjack, Skaarj Officers are the healthiest of the Trooper Skaarj and thus take a lot of damage to kill. The ricocheting blades from their Razorjacks can decapitate you very quickly if you are not careful, so it is best to circle strafe to avoid direct shots and pray that none of its blades hit you in the head. Identification: green eyes and body armour that is a distinctive mauve-ish pale blue.


The imposing Warlord is like a giant Skaarj with wings. Armed with whacking fists and a large rocket launcher, the Warlord will circle and wheel through the air, firing large and powerful rockets at you and whacking you if it gets up close. For its size, the Warlord is incredibly fast and agile. Nothing quite beats the skill of a Warlord performing a neat somersault in the air to dodge one of your rockets before whirling round and firing one of its own to deadly effect. A Warlord may also stop briefly to sprint across the ground at you, or it may stand still for a moment to laugh derisively. That is your cue to whack it one with a Flak Cannon.


The Skaarj Queen is the mother of the Skaarj race, and as such is equipped with some extremely unpleasant tools of destruction. At close range, she can tear you up with some powerful pincers. Further off, she fires floods of the energy bolts produced by Warrior Skaarj. Either attack is unpleasant and avoidance is always the best policy. To make things worse, she is equipped with the ability to teleport and when under threat will teleport at random between firing spots within the fighting arena. Sometimes she Telefrags you (teleports to the exact spot where you are standing and consequently kills you). The best policy is: save early, save often. She is elusive but her size makes her easier to target; lay into her until she is dead. However, she carries a shield like that of the Trooper Skaarj. Do not waste ammo whilst she is using this.

Older versions[]

Originally Unreal was going to be a Quake style shooter - earlier screens showed a large status bar similar to Doom and Quake's, and the Weapon models were centered in the middle. The main character was also going to be a Woman, however in the final version the main character's gender is never specified (you can choose to play as a male or a female in the game). The storyline was essentially the same (crash-landing on an alien planet).

One of the weapons shown in early screenshots is the 'Quadshot' - a four barreled shotgun. It still remains in the final version, however there is no weapon model for it. Another weapon shown was a different pistol, however this may of just been an early version of the automag. Also worth noting is that the rifle could fire 3 shots at once. Many of the enemies in the early versions are present in the current version (with updated models). One monster that didn't make it was a Dragon type creature.

As progress moved on, many levels were cut from development. A few levels were not lost for good however, and reappeared in Unreal: Return to Na Pali expansion pack.

External links[]